Intrinsic – Intrinsic (1987) [USA]
A real heavy metal meets melodic thrash metal mix, the pioneering acts of the 70’s and early 80’s remained an obvious influence in 1987, with California’s Intrinsic slamming the past into (what was ) the thrash present with their audacious, self-titled, debut.
“Possessor” and “RIP!” were as forceful a power/thrash-fest as their titles would suggest, the kind of songs that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the first two Metal Church albums (David Wayne actually became Intrinsic’s vocalist between 1987 and 1989!) and while “Ahead Of The Game” may have proven to be an overly ambitious title, an endless array of NWOBHM riffs – bolstered by occasional bursts of speed and aggression – marked Intrinsic out as a band with huge potential.
Certainly not the fully formed article at this stage, Intrinsic’s debut is instead a blast of old-school power/thrash/speed metal; an album whose latent qualities would fully reveal themselves on the progressive thrash masterpiece – and ‘lost’ classic – that is Nails.
Invocator – Excursion Demise (1991) [Denmark]
If you were under the impression that Artillery were the only Danish thrash band really worth caring about then we urge you to turn your attention to Invocator and, particularly, their debut album Excursion Demise!
As far as technical thrash goes, Invocator were not only operating at a much higher level than the majority of their countrymen, they were also rivalling the best the world had to offer.
Sharing a kinship with Atheist lent Invocator a death metal vibe but the likes of the exquisite “(…to a Twisted Recess of Mind)” and “Schismatic Injective Therapy” were actually technical / progressive thrash through and through; leaving it to songs such as “The Persistence From Memorial Chasm” to provide a more visceral thrash kick.
Megace – Human Errors (1991) [Germany]
Emerging from the same technical thrash metal gene pool as the likes of Mekong Delta, Watchtower and Sadus, the female-fronted Megace had their own distinct charms and remain a unique proposition in a severely crowded marketplace.
With a talent for cunning complexity, Megace were operating at a level that would fry most minds but their biggest asset could also be considered their most divisive ingredient – the vocals of Melanie Bock.
With the ability to alternate between Sabine Classen-esque shrieks and growls and a more power metal styled delivery, those thrashers who struggle with female vocals in the genre will hit a brick wall fast. Of course, that’s complete nonsense as Bock’s emotive delivery competed with her male compatriots on every level and offered Megace that ‘special something’ to differentiate them from the pack!
A real unique moment in German thrash that deserves to be revered and adored.
Mysto Dysto – The Rules Have Been Disturbed (1986) [Netherlands]
Obscure but well worthy of mention, Dutch thrashers Mysto Dysto may have gone on to become the slightly (but only slightly) more well known Mandator….but it all started here.
With Peter Meijering’s ridiculous falsetto leading the charge, Mysto Dysto could hardly be accused of subtlety and while The Rules Have Been Disturbed may sound like utter nonsense to uncultured ears, the rest of us are left to revel in Mysto Dysto‘s metal majesty.
With speed metal freakouts like opener “Power Of The Law” nestling next to the Iron Maiden-influenced semi-ballad “Confused”, The Rules Have Been Disturbed is, ironically, a confusing listen. But then Mysto Dysto were all about fucking with the rules, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise!
Taramis – Stretch Of The Imagination (1991) [Australia]
Australian progressive/power/technical thrashers Taramis may be one of the least known acts on this particular list but their distinct brand of histrionic metal deserves to be remembered!
Featuring exceptional bass playing and a penchant for frantic, frenzied arrangements, Stretch Of The Imagination was a vast improvement on 1987’s Queen Of Thieves with Taramis fully embracing their progressive mettle.
“Behind These Eyes” truly hit the technical thrash sweet spot but the whole damn thing reeked of ambition and a complete lack of care for convention.
The overly-dramatic, occasional squeaky vocals will ruffle the feathers of non-believers, but fans of Realm, Agent Steel, ToxiK and their ilk will love ’em!